Saturday, Bob Herbert of The New York Times charged McCain and the Republican Party with producing ads that are "slimy ... foul, poisonous ... designed to exploit the hostility, anxiety and resentment of the many white Americans who are still freakishly hung up on the idea of black men rising above their station and becoming sexually involved with white women."
Sunday, Gene Robinson of The Washington Post accused McCain of "running a desperate, ugly campaign."
The Britney-Paris ad calling Obama "the biggest celebrity in the world" was an attempt to "turn Obama's popularity into a flaw."
Now, undeniably, McCain's ad was designed to minimize and mock Obama's popularity as a modern form of Beatlemania.
But what is wrong with that?
On the weekend, the McCain folks released another ad. Called "The One," it features Barack's grandiose pronouncements about who he is, what he means to mankind and the marvelous miracles that await our messiah's arrival -- and twins him with Moses (Charlton Heston) parting the Red Sea in "The Ten Commandments."
The effectiveness of the ad is that people laugh with it, and so doing, laugh at the perceived pretentiousness of Barack Obama.
In a week, Barack, an object of media homage on his trip abroad, has become an object of mockery in much of Middle America. Though his media allies may howl racism, most Americans tend more and more to dismiss this. That card has been played so often it's dog-eared.
And Barack's raising the race issue anew seems suicidal. When one is winning the black vote 94 to 1, does it make sense to keep pushing into the face of the 87 percent of Americans who are Asian, Hispanic and Caucasian that the next president will definitely not be one of you?
When JFK's polls showed him sweeping 80 percent of Catholics, he did not whistle-stop through the Bible Belt, billing himself as our "first Roman Catholic president." He sent Lyndon and Lady Bird on a Dixie special to talk about JFK's war record and rake Richard Nixon.
Thus did he become our first Catholic president. If Barack wishes to be our first black president, he will tell his friends to stop bellowing and braying every day about it.